June 8, 2012
By Mike Mulcahy
DES MOINES, Iowa — With only a handful of competitors at the national championships, New Mexico Head Coach Joe Franklin just wanted to see some personal records get set.
And while he got his PRs, he also got something extra.
Floyd Ross and Sarah Waldron both earned First-Team All American status for the University of New Mexico track and field team as it wrapped up its final day of competition at the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Ross took second in the men's triple jump and Waldron earned sixth in the women's 10000-meter run, which was good enough to gain First-Team honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
"This meet for us has been a very good meet," Franklin said. "We've had people run season bests, lifetime best, or right at lifetime bests. We've just had a very good weekend."
Waldron opened up the good weekend for the Lobos with a stellar 32 minute, 58.84 second time in the 10000 on Thursday.
Just the fifth Lobo woman to have ever competed at the NCAA Championships in the 10000, Waldron's sixth-place finish is the highest for UNM in the 10K at the national championships since 1996 when Tangi Galloway placed fourth with a 34:07.01 time.
"I was really pleased to get All-American," said the Puddleston, England, senior. "I felt good. I felt very comfortable running. My breathing was really good, and I feel like I'm fit."
"I placed a little low in my rank, which is a little frustrating, but I feel like I'm continuing to improve and overall I'm happy with my performance."
Ross continued the trend of superb performances when he jumped 54 feet, six inches in the men's triple jump to claim runner-up honors and eight team points for the Lobos.
"The competition was pretty tough, but I managed to be humble and control my jumps," Ross said. "Everything came out the way I planned and I had a nice PR."
A junior from Memphis, Tenn., Ross notched the highest finish in the triple jump at the national championship since Art Baxter won the event in 1967 with a 52-4.25 mark.
"Floyd is a guy of last jumps," Franklin said. "He made it to the finals on his last jump—they take nine to finals and he did it on his last jump—and in the finals his first two jumps were average at best. And Floyd, on his last jump, had a two-foot PR."
His personal-record mark is also now second all-time behind Dwayne Rudd's 54-8.75 leap set in 1984.
Four other Lobos also competed at Drake Stadium during the past three days.
Sophomore Django Lovett placed 19th in the high jump on Thursday with a clearance of 7 feet, 0.5 inches. Lovett, a sophomore from Surrey, British Columbia, competed at his second consecutive national championship and improved on his mark from last year, where he reached 6-8.75 to place 22nd.
Senior, a Norwich, England, product, ran a solid 15th-place time of 10:13.48 in the prelims of the women's 3000 steeplechase, but missed advancing to the finals by .79 second. Nonetheless, the New Mexico senior finished her collegiate career with UNM's second-fastest women's steeplechase time.
Lee, a freshman from West Covina, Calif., also had a stellar performance in the prelims of the men's 100, but only placed seventh in his heat and 20th overall with his PR-time of 10.28, which ranks second all-time at New Mexico.
Wednesday also saw two-time NCAA qualifier Richard York withdraw from the decathlon after injuring his hamstring during the first two events. He did not finish.
The meet concludes on Saturday, but the Lobos are finished competing. With the end of the NCAA Championships, the Lobos will close the book on the 2012 outdoor season.
However, five current Lobos are aiming to competing at the Olympic Trials in July. Ross and Kendall Spencer can try out for the U.S., as can Waldron and Ross Millington for England and Lovett for Canada. Former Lobo Lee Emanuel is also slated to try out for England.